Watchman Has a Keen Eye for Truth. Reflecting on the Parables Found in Luke 12:16–21 and Proverbs 30:7-9, a Powerful Illustration Came to Mind. It Was the Story of the Lukewarm Laodicean, Someone Who Believed They Were Rich and Flourishing, but in Reality, They Were Deeply Corrupted and Blinded by Their Own Arrogance. This Story Serves as a Striking Example of the Dangers of Self-Conceit

HNewsWire:

For the most part, "hypocrisy" means saying you think something but doing something else. The word comes from a Greek word that means "one who wears a mask," or someone who acts like someone else when they're not.

Hypocrisy is a sin, according to the Bible. When we say we believe in something but then do something that goes against that belief, that is hypocrisy. When we look down on others when we know we are flawed, that is also hypocrisy.

"These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me," the prophet Isaiah said about the hypocrisy of his time. Their worship of me is only based on rules that men have taught them. (Isa 29:13). Jesus used this verse hundreds of years later to say the same bad things about the religious leaders of His time (Matthew 15:8–9). John the Baptist wouldn't let hypocrites off the hook. He told them to show "fruits worthy of repentance" (Luke 3:8). When Jesus spoke out against hypocrisy, he called it "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15), "whitewashed tombs" (Matthew 23:27), "snakes," and "brood of vipers" (Matthew 23:33).

If we don't love our brothers, we can't say we love God (1 John 2:9). Scripture says that love must be "without hypocrisy" (Romans 12:9). On the outside, a phony may seem good, but that's just a show. True righteousness doesn't come from following a list of rules on the outside, but from being changed on the inside by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 23:5; 2 Corinthians 3:8).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about the other kind of hypocrisy: "Why do you look at the little piece of sawdust in your brother's eye and not see the big problem in your own?" You tell your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," but you have a rock in your own eye all the time. "You hypocrites, first take the log out of your own eye. Then you'll be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus isn't telling us not to use our insight or help others get over their sins. Instead, He's telling us not to be so proud of our own goodness that we criticize others from a place of self-righteousness. Before we go after the "specks" in other people, we should look at ourselves and fix the things we're doing wrong (Romans 2:1).

During his time on earth, Jesus had many disagreements with the Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of the time. These guys knew a lot about the Bible and were determined to follow the law to the letter (Acts 26:5). But because they wanted to follow the law to the letter, they eagerly looked for holes that let them break the law's spirit. They didn't care about other people and often overacted their "spirituality" to get praise (Matthew 23:5–7; Luke 18:11). Jesus made it clear that they were wrong by telling them that "justice, mercy, and faithfulness" are more important than trying to be perfect by using wrong standards (Matthew 23:23). There was nothing wrong with the law itself, Jesus made it clear (Matthew 23:2–3). The issue was with how the Pharisees were following it. These days, the word "pharisee" means someone who lies.

You can tell a lot about a person's spiritual state by their actions: "By their fruit you will know them," and "Every good tree bears good fruit" (Matthew 7:16–17). It was clear that the Laodiceans' mediocre actions did not fit with real redemption. True believers will do "hot" or "cold" things that help the world and show the spiritual zeal of a life changed. Lukewarm acts, on the other hand, hurt the world because they are done without joy, love, or the fire of the Spirit. This group of people says they know God but act like He doesn't exist. They may go to church and follow a religion, but they are full of themselves and don't feel guilty about anything. And even though they say they are Christians, their hearts haven't changed. God is sickened by their dishonesty.

Revelation 3:20 shows a picture of Jesus standing outside of the church. This shows that the lukewarm people that Christ talks about are not saved. They haven't yet made him feel welcome among them. The Lord scolds and punishes them out of love, telling them to turn around (verse 19). His view is that their ambivalence is "shameful nakedness" that needs to be covered with the white robes of true righteousness (verse 18). He tells them to be sincere, or passionate, and give their whole lives to Him. Our Lord is kind and patient, and he gives us a moderate amount of time to change our minds.

With their wealth and what they thought was a real faith, the people of Laodicea got a false sense of security and independence (see Mark 10:23). The phrase "I am rich; I have acquired wealth" (Revelation 3:17) makes it clear that the wealth was earned by hard work. After all, they had a lot of spiritual wants. People who live easy, successful lives are always at risk of having a self-sufficient mindset and a weak faith.

Of course, not every person who says they are a Christian really is one. Maybe all or most of the well-known Christian hypocrites were actually fakes and liars. Even now, well-known Christian leaders have done terrible things. There are a lot of financial and sexual issues in the Christian community at times.

But we shouldn't use the acts of a few to make the whole group of Christians look bad. Instead, we should ask ourselves if everyone who says they are a Christian is really one. A lot of Bible verses show that people who really follow Christ will show the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). Jesus' story in Matthew 13 about the seed and the dirt shows that not all claims to believe in Him are real. Many people who say they belong to Him will be shocked when He tells them, "I never knew you." Stay away from me, you bad people!" (Mark 7:23).

It's important to remember that lying is not the same as standing up against sin. Telling someone that being drunk is wrong is not hypocritical, unless the person who is telling them that is drunk every weekend, then it is.

We are called to be holy because we are God's children (1 Peter 1:16). "Hate what is evil" and "cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9). It's never okay to suggest that you accept sin, especially when it comes to your own life. What we believe and who we are in Christ should guide everything we do. You should only act on stage and not in real life.

The further a society drifts from the truth, the stronger the delusion will take its place…. It is crucial that every Christian understands that he/she is in a spiritual battle. There is no way to get out of it. Awareness of the spiritual battle around us is very important. Not only awareness, but vigilance, preparedness, courage, and the right weaponry are crucial elements of engaging in spiritual warfare. The Bible speaks often about deceitfulness.  The Newer Testament book of Ephesians says that people should, 25“Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are all part of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.” (Ephesians 4:25)  That’s good advice.  No matter the rationale, a lie is always intended to either mislead or protect – usually a bit of both. Moving beyond the simple lies we…

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